John Kear: Wales youngsters 'can only get better'

John Kear
Wales head coach John Kear is also in charge of Championship side Bradford Bulls

Head coach John Kear says the emergence of Wales' young players is "exciting" as he begins to plan for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

Wales qualified for the tournament with a 40-8 win over Ireland.

Seven players were handed debuts during the European Championship campaign in which Wales finished second.

"We've had a great tournament on the back of some very young men who are just making their way in the international game," Kear said.

"They will only get better in the next couple of years and that's why it's exciting for us to be looking for 2021."

Wales responded after an opening defeat in France with victories over Scotland and Ireland which secured a World Cup spot and avoided next year's qualifiers.

Kear also praised the contribution of Wales' senior internationals, including London Broncos pair Rhys Williams and captain Elliott Kear.

"The players are tremendous," Kear added.

"We've got Elliott Kear and Rhys Williams, both of whom are very experienced and they truly led this team."

Qualifying for the 2021 World Cup, which will be held in England, will now allow Kear and the game's governing body in Wales to start planning ahead.

"I don't just mean that with regard performance but also the marketing side, they can look to get sponsors on board" said Kear, who succeeded Iestyn Harris in 2014.

"On the performance side it allows us to be comfortable with the fact we're there and to ensure that we spend next year and the year after attempting to develop and continue to grow as individuals within the team but also as a team as whole.

"We're going to enjoy what we've achieved but next month we'll start planning and preparing next year's schedule and attempt to help these players develop."

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